Sackboy A Big Adventure: Wonderfully creative jumping game fun

Sackboy A Big Adventure: Wonderfully creative jumping game fun
Comebacks happen just as often in the video game industry as they do in music or film, only much more successfully, since the main actors here cannot add to the coke or alcohol. Kratos shone in new grim splendor on the PS4, the Doomslayer returned to his uncompromising roots in 2016 and now another brave warrior is celebrating his return and his name is ... Sackboy. Exactly, the cute little baggy face from Little Big Planet is back. But this time a little different. Instead of an editor, the focus is now clearly on the gameplay. In our test, this turned out to be exactly the right strategy, because the title shines with lots of creative ideas, a lot of variety and a super cuddly presentation.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure put to the test

1 World in danger 2 Big footsteps 3 Pure joy! 4 The slightly different feast for the eyes

World in Danger

The nasty Vex wants to spoil and subjugate the whole artistic world with his upside down player. Of course we cannot allow that. Source: PC Games The eponymous big adventure by Sackboy starts off calmly at first. Our little protagonist lives together with the other sack figures in the town of Werkstadt. But suddenly the evil doll Vex appears and speaks of wanting to subjugate the entire Artful World with his upside down player. The device has yet to be built and the villain doesn't even want to get his hands dirty. So Vex sucks in the bag figures to let them work as slaves on the device. However, Sackboy is able to grab the villain's plans and escape in a missile. Since the plans reveal that Vex needs different things from the five planets of the fantasy sphere, our mission is clear: We travel to the respective areas and try to stop the villain. We are helped by the wise Scarlet, who even considers us to be one of the legendary knight knights who were chosen to save the world.

Big footsteps

As you rightly assume, our wool propping succeeds saving the fantasy sphere by jumping a lot, avoiding traps and beating opponents or hopping on their heads. However, Sackboy: A Big Adventure (buy now € 61.40) is very different from the gameplay of the Little Big Planet series. There you only moved through 2.5D areas and mostly you had to struggle more with the spongy controls than with enemies or obstacles. That was sometimes really frustrating.

Fortunately, the controls are now much more precise. We specifically jump over moving platforms, overcome traps or shimmy across abysses. When you die, you have to blame yourself, because Sackboy is really agile now. The controls are not quite as precise as with a Super Mario Odyssey, but hardly any other genre representative succeeds anyway.

The five planets of the fantasy sphere each have their own little upper world. From there we reach the individual levels or buy new clothes in Zom-Zom's shop. Source: PC Games But let's stay with Nintendo's plumbers for a moment. This is clearly a role model for Sackboy: A Big Adventure. There is no longer an editor, instead the five planets offer upper worlds on which the levels up to the boss opponent can be controlled one after the other. In addition, you collect so-called dream balls in the areas. Some are guarded by opponents, others are well hidden and still others can only be obtained if you take the right path under time pressure. If you have collected enough balls, you unlock the boss level in the world. Yep, the dreamer balls are to Sackboy what his stars are to Mario.

The presentation was also inspired by the Nintendo mascot. Not from his last appearance, but from Super Mario 3D World, which was released for the Wii-U at the time. So you don't move freely through a level and the camera can't be rotated. You follow a certain path that is only split up in a few places, and the camera captures the action from the side, diagonally above, from the front or from the back. That may sound a bit rigid, but don't worry, you always have an overview. Sumo Digital also cleverly uses the fixed camera to hide secrets or dreamer balls.

The knitting knight tests are sometimes really crisp. Here we have to find our way across platforms littered with traps to the finish line as quickly as possible. Source: PC Games But Mario is not the only role model, Ubisoft's Rayman apparently also served as inspiration. For example, there are the optional knitting knight tests in which you have to beat a given time. These tests are particularly crisp and riddled with numerous pitfalls. This is very reminiscent of the running sections from Rayman Legends. In addition, there are also music levels in Sackboy with songs by well-known artists.

These areas are structured a little differently than in Ubisoft's limbless hero, but just as great. But we don't want to reveal too much here, because we don't want to spoil the surprise when you start a level, suddenly the song starts and the whole level moves to its beat. In any case, we were sitting in front of the screen with a big grin on our faces at these moments.

The balance is excellent. Each world becomes a little more demanding than the previous one. You don't have to worry about a frustration experience like with Crash Bandicoot 4. Source: PC Games

Pure joy!

This strangely blissful facial expression was seen more often in the twelve hours that we needed to get to the last boss, because Sackboy is a real joy even apart from the music level and the well-stolen elements. Sumo Digital have managed to skillfully combine the cuddly charm of the Little Big Planet series with features from Rayman and Mario and, on top of that, to let all sorts of their own creativity flow into the game. The first few levels are still a bit slow, but after just under an hour of play, the Big Adventure really picks up speed.

The game is more fun from level to level, because the areas are wonderfully varied, both visually and playfully . Sure, the core gameplay consists of jumping over platforms, dodging traps and knocking down cute opponents, as is typical for Jump & Run, but the developers have shown a lot of ingenuity even with this. For example, various gadgets such as shoes with jet propulsion, a climbing hook or simply a boomerang are introduced with which we can beat our way through the areas.

In many levels there are different gimmicks. Here we have to avoid traps and overcome abysses with drive nozzles under our feet, for example. Source: PC Games Elsewhere we walk through a sticky substance and can suddenly walk on walls and the ceiling. Again in another place we roll in a snow globe through an ice landscape and avoid enemies. In an underwater section, however, we are on a submarine and collect treasure while we are hunted by a huge fish. Sackboy: A Big Adventure is just bursting with ideas and variety. Yes, different game elements appear again and again, but they are mixed so well and presented in such a varied way that you never get bored.

It is also particularly nice that you can play the adventure alone, but you don't have to. In local co-op we can hop through the levels with up to three other sack figures. The possibility of playing online in co-op with friends should be patched up quickly. In addition to the normal levels, there are also pure co-op sections that rely entirely on teamwork. There, for example, we throw each other on higher levels or one player activates switches for platforms while the other is transporting an object. Here, too, you can feel the creativity of the developers everywhere.

The levels are very varied. Classic bouncing sections alternate with more unusual parts. Here we roll like a snow globe through an ice world. Source: PC Games We still have to make a bit of criticism, because as varied and lovable everything is, in some secret rooms of the later levels you suddenly have to use skills there and later never again that were never introduced or explained before. Here you first stand like an ox in front of the mountain. However, this is only the case in two places. Otherwise, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is really - as trite as it sounds - great fun for the whole family.

While the little ones enjoy the pretty presentation and the fact that they are Sackboy in the crazy Zom's shop -Zom can be designed individually, the adults will probably have to laugh heartily at some of the wonderfully daft supporting characters like the stingy Krabby King or the internally torn AI.

In the special co-op levels, teamwork is essential. Here one player pushes a platform down while the other is transporting an object. Source: PC Games

The slightly different feast for the eyes

Sackboy: A Big Adventure will also appear for the PS4, but the big question is, of course, to what extent the title includes the features of the new Playstation 5 uses. Graphically, Sackboy will probably not knock anyone off their feet, but the game is still really nice to look at. Everything is colorful and cuddly and the game world is a mixture of paper mache and various objects from our world, which are huge in Sackboy's fantasy sphere. For example, you can see forks or sponges. The design is just great and the game runs smoothly at 60 frames per second at all times.

The entire game can be played in local co-op with up to three other players, making it even more fun. An online co-op mode is to follow by patch. Source: PC Games The title also supports Sony's 3D audio, but of course this is not as an experience as, for example, with a Spider-Man, where you can move freely and turn the camera yourself. Still, the title sounds wonderful. The soundtrack is catchy, the effects fit and the music levels are beyond any doubt anyway. As with the visual presentation of the title, the sound also looks like everything is from one piece.

The features of the DualSense controller have been integrated well, but not outstandingly. Compared to Astro's Playroom, where the whole game is tailored to the PS5 gamepad, Sackboy does of course a little worse. Nevertheless, haptic feedback and adaptive triggers are used properly. For example, it is easy to feel how you beat up bad guys, you feel the texture of the surfaces you are walking over and you even notice a difference in the controller, whether you have just been hit or been electrified.

The adaptive triggers, on the other hand, are used in the various gadgets. While you hardly feel like you are throwing a boomerang, you can definitely feel it when you are out and about with the jet shoes. There was still some room for improvement here. But well, we must have something to criticize about this title, which does so much right. Sackboy's big adventure offers so much charm, variety, creativity and sheer fun that you just have to love it.

My opinion

By Christian Dörre


[email protected] "THE surprise in the launch line-up of the PS5 - a great jump & run!" When A Big Adventure was announced, I didn't really care. I think the little sackcloth is cute too, but the gameplay was always too vague for me in Little Big Planet. So I was all the more surprised when I played the title. Sackboy controls himself really well and Sumo Digital have taken exactly the right role models in Mario and Rayman to combine elements from the games with their own creativity. The levels are great designed. They look great and sparkle with variety. All play elements are mixed so well that you never get bored. Even towards the end, the game still surprised me with a few things. In any case, I am very enthusiastic and am already looking forward to experiencing the great, cute adventure again in co-op with friends. Sackboy: A Big Adventure (PS5) 9/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Sackboy: A Big Adventure (PS4) 9/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Pro & Contra Wonderful variety , creative jumping game fun Nicely designed levels Different gadgets and gimmicks loosen up the gameplay Exact control Funny secondary characters Clever design of the co-op level Crisp, optional knitting tests Can be played completely in a four-way co-op, ... ... but only locally so far Some skills poorly explained Somewhat lengthy beginning Other pros & cons ... Conclusion Great jumping fun for young and old.

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